Photo by Denny Culbert

Food Culture of the South

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yields

Serves 2

    For Marjie’s Yellow Spice:
  • ½ cup salt
  • 1/4 cup black pepper
  • 4 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon coriander
  • 1½ tablespoons chili powder
  • This recipe makes more spice blend than you’ll need. It’s also great as a pork rub.
  • For the catfish:
  • 2 cups full-fat buttermilk
  • 1 cup hot sauce
  • 3 tablespoons Marjie’s Yellow Spice
  • 2 fillets wild-caught catfish
  • 1 cup freshly rendered lard
  • 2 tablespoons fresh herbs (such as basil, mint, parsley, chives), chopped or torn
  • For the dredge:
  • 1 cup corn flour
  • 1 cup corn starch
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup rice flour
  • 1/4 cup Tony Chachere’s creole seasoning
steps
  1. Make Marjie’s Yellow Spice: Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  2. Start the catfish: In a bowl, combine buttermilk, hot sauce, and Marjie’s Yellow Spice. Soak catfish in mixture for at least 1 hour, and up to overnight.
  3. In a large cast-iron skillet fitted with a deep fry thermometer, heat lard to 350 degrees (or until it begins to sizzle when you flick a bit of flour into it).
  4. While oil heats, make the dredge: In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix to incorporate.
  5. Remove catfish from marinade and allow excess buttermilk to drip off. Coat catfish in dredge, pressing to ensure fish is totally covered. Shake off excess.
  6. When oil has reached 350 degrees, gently lay catfish in pan. Fry for 3 minutes on each side, until coating is crispy and browned. Transfer fish to a rack and let rest for 2 minutes. Finish with fresh herbs.

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